University outside the system of professional training as a result of many years of reforms in the Russian higher education

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The article considers radical changes in the Russian universities’ activity in the last 30-35 years. The authors believe that such changes were determined by: a) destruction of the Soviet system of higher education; b) its transfer to the Western models of the education organization; c) unification of different university models; d) transfer to the two-level system (bachelor-master); e) universities’ right to change education programs and earn money by admitting poorly prepared students. These features of the contemporary education led to a significant increase in the number of universities that do not take into account objective social needs in various types of training. Therefore, the university is no longer a final point in the system of professional training, whose previous customers were either the state or employer. The university has turned into an organization providing educational services to the student and his parents. Such a higher-education system does not fulfill its social functions and is wasteful for it contributes to potential conflicts due to the excess of formal holders of higher-education diplomas, for whom there is no place in the real economy. The authors believe that the Russian higher education can change the trend of development by selecting and differentiating a small group of universities according to the future types of their graduates’ activities (research, technology, education, etc.), and by reliable forecasting of the employers’ needs.

About the authors

V. V Shcherbina

Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS

Author for correspondence.

доктор социологических наук, главный научный сотрудник Института социологии

Krzhizhanovskogo St., 24/35-5, Moscow, 117218, Russia

E. P Popova

National Research University Higher School of Economics


кандидат социологических наук, доцент кафедры теории организаций департамента политики и управления

Myasnitskaya St., 20, Moscow, 101000, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2020 Shcherbina V.V., Popova E.P.

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